Thule is a Swedish company that has been trading since the 1940s, and in this guide, we’re looking into the impressive brand’s bike hitch racks with a Thule Easyfold XT 2 review, and a guide to one of the most modern bike racks on the market today.
As the brand grows and evolves, the products continue to change to suit a modern range of products. This bike rack suits the fact that so many more people are now buying large, chunky bikes. This change has largely been driven by the fact that electric bikes have become so much more popular, but is the Thule Easyfold XT 2 really one of the best ways to transport e-bikes on your car? We explore the facts and what makes this a great option for big bikes, whilst remaining easily portable.
The Thule group has a Trusted SourceHistory of Thule Group | Thule Group In 1942, Thule Group was founded by the Thulin family, when Erik Thulin, a true lover of the outdoors, put the Thule name on a so called pike fishing trap (a fishing gear) that he designed and began to sell to the fisherman of Scandinavia. www.thulegroup.com in manufacturing for bikes and for transportation products, and the build-quality we have come to expect is evident once more in the Thule Easyfold XT 2-bike hitch rack. All of that while giving a simple, lightweight and folding design that can be transported anywhere with ease.
Below, we dive into some of the features and what makes this worth considering for your e-bike or chunkier design of large mountain bikes.
Generally speaking, the overall performance of the bike rack was fantastic, with a particularly good performance when it comes to setup and removal. If you need to carry hefty bikes around with you then this is definitely a contender for the best option, in spite of not weighing that much in itself.
A problem that a lot of e-bike racks like this have in their performance is the fact that the bikes may rattle around while you are driving. If you have two expensive and quality bikes strapped to the back of your SUV, you don’t want them to start banging together, causing scratches or worse.
The Easyfold XT 2 lets you securely fasten both bikes in place with ratcheting straps, and test this before you drive long distances. With the correct setup, neither of the bikes will run the risk of scraping against the other, and there is even a carbon fiber wrap to make sure this doesn’t happen.
The locks are generally pretty high-quality and robust, but if you are particularly worried about security it is possible to buy accessories and aftermarket products that can further aid with the security of the rack. Consider what kind of bikes you’re storing on the back here. Are they likely to be a target for people? If you’ve got some pricey e-bikes then it could be worth extra protection, but for most standard bikes this is more than suitable.
The design and functionality of this bike rack were clearly designed for big and chunky bikes.
As the name suggests, it is really easy to remove and then reattach the Easy Fold XT2 no matter what vehicle you are using. It only weighs 45 lbs in total, and Thule has thought of a lot of added extras to make your life easier when it comes to setting up this rack.
The functionality is great, and Thule has thought of a lot of the problems that users might encounter when designing this product.
For instance, there is a tilt mechanism that allows you to still use the trunk of your vehicle without having to remove the bike mount altogether. You just activate it with your foot and slowly and smoothly lower the rack so that it is no longer a hindrance. It locks in place so you can then freely access what you need from the trunk, and put the bikes back in place when it is time to drive again.
After all of this, the fact that it can be folded down to a tiny size and carried by hand is appealing, too. In fact, you might be surprised at just how simple this is. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest selling points of this bike rack. Overall, it weighs 45 lbs, and while this isn’t feather lite, it certainly means that you can transport it around without having to get your friends to lift it with you. It even has wheels to make it easier to drag from one location to another.
Mounting can be one of the most awkward parts of installing a bike rack if it isn’t well-designed. Luckily, this one is!
Mounting is relatively simple. It is a simple hitch-mount design. The hitch pin doesn’t need any tools at all, so you can secure it with an incredible level of ease that most bike racks don’t offer. You can simply attach it before unfolding the rack and making the platform sit flat. Lighter bikes can easily lift on, but for heavier bikes there is also a ramp feature that you can make use of to help you to get the bikes into place. This is a big relief for some people.
It fits both 1.25- and 2-inch receivers, and boasts detachable bike arms and a Thule AcuTight torque limiter knobs for an easy, secure fit. Even on bumpy roads and traveling long distances you shouldn’t need to worry about the safety of your bikes.
With all that space, and the excellent capabilities that this rack offers, you’re going to need a big load capacity. Any bike rack that is primarily made for e-bikes is going to need a large capacity, as the bikes can be pretty heavy.
This load capacity is one of the best we’ve seen in recent reviews and it is ideal for those who want to take a couple of big, chunky bikes on the road with them.
On top of that, Thule’s excellent ramp system makes it easy to load the heavier bikes, even if you aren’t the sort of person who finds it easy to lift 65 lbs worth of electric bike or mountain bike. The brand has thought of everything.
Trusted SourceeBike Weight: This is how much an electric bike weighs - Bosch eBike Systems eBikes are heavier than bicycles without an electric motor. What electric bikes usually weigh and how much the e-drive and battery weigh on the scales can be found here! www.bosch-ebike.com that “practical folding bikes for commuters weigh around 20 kilos” so it is unlikely that you will use the full 65 lbs capacity unless you are buying a particularly heavy-duty electric bike.
Compatibility with both bikes and vehicles is good. As we’ve already explained, the hitch mount is compatible with 1.25” and 2” receivers.
In terms of the bikes, the fact that the rack is adjustable and allows you to alter the two bikes and the way they are fastened, so they won’t get in each others way or knock together while you are driving around. Even if you have a bike with an unusual shaped frame or a slightly unorthodox design, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to be able to use this bike rack. The clever design can accommodate two chunky and even oversized bikes if needed.
All bike racks have a limit, and this one can handle any bikes that are up to 48” in terms of their wheelbase. This includes the majority of bikes, but be sure to check before you buy.
We would still give durability a very high rating when considering this ebike rack, but there are some considerations, especially when you think about the price. This is not a cheap model, so if you are going to shell out for such a quality rack, you might not be expecting it to have plastic parts. There are a few components that are made out of plastic, which could potentially cause a problem.
That said, in some pretty robust testing we haven’t seen any of these plastic components break or come loose.
If anything were to break after a few years, we’d expect it to be the frame clamps or the ratcheting straps for the wheels, or some of those other plastic components or accessories. We also understand that the plastic helps to keep the product relatively light and portable, so this may just be something that you need to deal with.
Thule has a big range of bike racks and related products. This means there are accessories included with the bike rack itself, but you can also look to buy added extras, such as the Thule Carbon Frame Protector, Thule XXL Fatbike Wheel Straps and the Thule EasyFold XT Long Loading Ramp.
The fatbike wheel straps are designed to fit longer wheel bases and tires up to 4.7” in size. Keep in mind that if you have big and chunky tires then this could be virtually essential, and you should definitely make the purchase to keep your bikes secure.
The ramp that is included for loading those heavy bikes is one of the best accessories we’ve seen for a bike rack, it is smart and simple to use.
Other accessories include the two keys, and the “One Key System” discussed, a receiver lock, and the attachment to fit 1.25” and 2” receivers. If you want the wheel straps and carbon frame protector for your bikes you might have to invest a little more, which can be frustrating for quite a pricey bike rack.
Thule’s impressive offerings include a limited lifetime warranty on many of their products, including bike racks.
What does that mean in effect? Well, if there is a defective product or accessory that is shipped to you then you may be able to write to either the vendor or to Thule directly for a replacement. There is some smallprint, of course:
“No warranty is given for defects resulting from conditions beyond Thule’s control including, but not limited to, misuse, overloading, or failure to assemble, mount or use the product in accordance with Thule’s written instructions or guidelines included with the product or made available to the purchaser.”
Basically, if you botch the installation and don’t do the job correctly then there is every chance that your warranty will be void, especially if you have had the product a few years and break it through using it a lot rather than prove that there is some sort of manufacturer defect.
Thule’s experience in creating these kinds of products clearly shows. There are some additional features that some manufacturers would not have thought of, but Thule has made their bike rack boast lots of cool extra features.
The back of the rack has reflectors, and there is even an optional plug in for the brake light, so you can make sure you are signalling properly to other road users.
There is also a license plate frame. In some parts of the country, and the world, you’ll need to have your license clearly displayed even while you’ve got a bike rack attached. This way, you can put the license on show on the rear of the Easyfold XT 2.
There is a carbon fiber protector included, and you are meant to use this to wrap any parts of the bike frames that could come into contact with the other bike. This makes it even less likely that you’ll get any unwanted scratches.
The option to buy other accessories including the straps for bigger wheels and a door swing to get the rack out of the way when you need to access the trunk make this a fantastic option.
These two similar designs from the Thule brand can be directly compared. They are very similar in terms of price, with the Easyfold coming in at a slightly higher price.
The T2 Pro XTR is designed to fit an exceptional range of bikes, and you can fit two different bikes of up to 60 lbs in weight on the rack and not have to worry about contact between the frames because of how it is designed. Of course, the 65 lbs per bike capacity of the Easyfold option does trump this.
Both of the designs have integrated wheels to make it easier to maneuver and to put your rack onto the back of your vehicle.
Similarly, neither of the bike frames require any additional tools, so everything you need is included within the package when it arrives
The T2 Pro XTR fits 20 – 29″ wheels and up to 5″ tires with no need for adapters so it is an option for both fat bikes and electric bikes, but it doesn’t have the benefit of being able to fold down to a small and compact size. What you see is what you get.
One area where the XTR model is not quite as convenient is the setup, which can take twice as long. For the sake of convenience and being able to fold up your bike and go, the Thule Easyfold XT 2 does come out on top.
The Thule T2 Pro XTR is undeniably a great option and it is a little more affordable at the time of writing, but it doesn’t fold up, so think carefully about storage and convenience before you take the plunge and make any purchases.
We have come to have really high expectations from this brand. Thule has a rich history of over 80 years making similar products, such as bike accessories, and this is right up there with the best. If you need to carry heavier bikes or those with chunky frames and tires, it is hard to argue with the Easyfold XT 2 for quality.
Our Thule Easyfold XT 2 review shows that this product is arguably one of the quickest and easiest methods for setting up a bike rack on your vehicle, and the fact it folds down and stows away easily means it is super convenient, too. While it is not a cheap rack, it is worth investing the extra to keep a fat bike or an ebike safe.